NOTE: This post was originally published on this blog in June 2015.
Judgment. Or judgement, depending on how you were taught to spell it. (I believe either way is correct, though I don’t know everything…)
Anyway, one thing I’m noticing a lot online is people judging others. Whether it’s about their clothes, their weight, their hair style (or lack of), whatever. People judging total strangers about things that don’t impact anyone other than that individual.
That’s a serious question. I know everyone judges in some ways. I’m not immune from doing it myself sometimes, though I try hard not to judge harshly and to keep my opinions to myself if I’m not asked for them. But why do some people think it’s not only okay to think “Wow, that fat person shouldn’t wear that dress”, but to post it publicly on social media and blogs?
Why is it okay to say harsh, hurtful things to people you don’t even know, when you’re sitting at a keyboard possibly thousands of miles away from that person?
I’ve seen people say, “It’s just my opinion, just words on the screen, get over it.”
Do you know what that person’s been through in their lives? Maybe you calling them fat is going to contribute to putting them back into the mindset of the eating disorder they’re recovering from. You insulting their clothes might remind them that they escaped an abusive relationship and can’t find a job, so they don’t have enough money to buy better clothes. And they may have been conditioned to believe they don’t deserve better things and would never look good anyway. Something you’ve just reinforced.
“Words on the screen” can be as hurtful as words thrown in your face. Sometimes even more so, because “words on a screen” are often coming from a stranger, leaving the target to wonder why they’re so messed up that even strangers can tell and think it’s okay to tell the world about it.
Think before you type. Is it really any of your business if a 300-pound woman wants to wear a crop top? Does it affect you in the least if a man has a tattooed face and a shaved head?
If it doesn’t directly affect YOU, why are you wasting time and energy ranting about it online? Is your life that empty and miserable that you have to bring down other people to entertain yourself and feel better?
That last sentence is kind of harsh, but that’s the only reason I can think of behind the current trend of verbally thrashing other people online. Because I know personally, I’m way too busy to even notice someone else’s hairstyle (unless it’s a really awesome one that I want) or their weight or what they’re wearing. And I’m definitely too busy to talk about it online, unless, again, it’s something really awesome. Personally, I’d rather spread the good than the bad.
I think the world would be a lot better if we built each other up… or at least kept our mouths shut. Just my opinion. Just words on a screen.